Sun Zheng / Ti Gong

An airport worker operates a boarding bridge, one of the final steps on the long journeys of passengers on overnight flights.

Shanghai’s two airports handled a record 13.5 million passengers during the peak travel period this year, 7.3 percent more than last year, the Shanghai Airport Authority said over the weekend.

Pudong and Hongqiao airports handled 87,670 takeoffs and landings, 4.7 percent up on last year’s rush.

New services ensured smooth, punctual operations, the authority said.

In a trial operation, nearly 900 overnight domestic flights—between 1am and 6am— departed Pudong. The test operation in 10 busy airports during the travel peaks saw Pudong handle the largest number of flights and passengers. China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines, China Southern, Hainan Airlines and Urumqi Air operated red-eye flights to destinations including Fuzhou, Haikou and Urumqi.

Mo Lei / Ti Gong

Snow and ice must be swiftly removed from aircraft during the rush.

Pudong airport offered transportation, shopping, dining, even medical services, for passengers on overnight flights. Taxis were waiting and more than double the usual number of  shuttle buses, took passengers to their destinations.

Despite the huge turnover and freezing weather, Hongqiao airport kept a good on-time rate during the peak. Punctuality was over 90 percent in February, better than most other domestic airports.

In terminal buildings, free WiFi was faster than ever, up to 50Mbps from 2.4Mbps. Over 50,000 people can use the WiFi simultaneously.

Self-service and paperless boarding procedures meant that some 52,000 passengers at Pudong chose security channels with facial recognition facilities each day, making security checks faster than ever.

Pudong airport has cameras over luggage conveyor belts on the tarmac to allow interested passengers to observe how baggage handlers unload their cases. 

Wang Yuejin / Ti Gong

Airport staff at Pudong airport help a passenger during chunyun, the Spring Festival travel rush.